submitted by Sara Berges
One big question many farmers have as a result of the recent flooding is how to mitigate damage to crop fields and their soils. The floods likely left behind debris, scour holes, and sand deposits. If the crop was under water, it will likely need to be destroyed using a brush hog, tillage or other approved method. Contact a crop insurance provider with questions.
If fields were under water for a while, much of the beneficial soil biology may have been destroyed. One way to improve soil health would be to plant a cover crop. It is too late in the year to plant a winter-kill species, like oats, and have enough growth to provide much benefit. Instead, a winter-hardy species like cereal rye or winter wheat would help to develop soil structure through their fibrous root systems. They will also help to protect the soils from spring rains.